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Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of sector-wide approaches in improving the health care systems of poor countries. 
Clare Short: Health sector-wide approaches (SWAPs) enable better priority setting in the context of locally-owned strategies for improving health outcomes for the poorest. They facilitate joined up working between development partners, Governments and other stakeholders, and eliminate duplication and ineffective donor activity. Assessments of health SWAPs have been undertaken by inter alia the Overseas Development Institute. These show that SWAPs are more than a change in the form which development assistance takes. They are responsible for increased Government ownership and commitment to delivering accessible health care to the poorest through strengthened health systems.
In most cases it is still too early to assess the long term impact of SWAPs on health outcomes for the poor. However, there are many early positive outcomes. In Uganda and Tanzania the SWAP has helped better identify the health needs of the poorest. In Uganda, Mozambique and Ghana, more people are using health services. But SWAPs are a partnership: they will only deliver real pro-poor benefits with the continued political will and investment of both donors and developing country partners.
Clare Short: I discussed the humanitarian situation with the Government of Angola during my visit to Angola in April 2002. We discussed the need to follow up the peace agreement with urgent measures to assist all displaced people within the country, and to help them return to their homes as rapidly as possible.
Our embassy in Luanda is pressing the Angolan Government on a regular basis to do more to address the dire humanitarian situation and commit more of their own resources to meet humanitarian needs in an open and transparent fashion.
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Clare Short: The presence of land mines in Angola has understandably led Angolans to believe that they cannot move around their country in safety. This affects all aspects of rural life, and has meant that much farmland remains unused. Given that the season for planting seeds is now coming to an end, this is likely to have a significant impact on food production in Angola. As a result, demining of residential areas targeted for returnee communities, and their agricultural land, is the main priority for the clearance agencies after roads and bridges.
Clare Short: Along with almost all other elements of the national infrastructure, the network of roads, bridges and railways has been severely damaged by the civil war. The Angolan Government has made rehabilitating the transport infrastructure a top priority, and some progress is now being made with vehicles able to reach the interior of the country, bringing goods and people. Arguably, however, rebuilding the physical infrastructure is only one of the key tasks which confronts the Government of Angola. They also urgently need to re-focus government spending on the social sector, in particular health and education, and to improve the macro-economic management of the country.
John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what correspondence she has had with civil society in Angola to ensure the adherence to human rights within the country. 
Clare Short: The UK Government maintain a constant dialogue with Angolan civil society through our embassy in Luanda. I also met with a number of civil society organisations during my visit to Angola in April this year. The Government have supported a number of projects with civil societyboth directly, through the bilateral aid programme and through the UN and the EUdesigned to empower Angolans to engage with their government for themselves. We are also working closely with the Human Rights Division of the UN.
John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment she has made of the levels of spending by the Government of Angola on basic social services since the end of the civil war; and if she will make a statement. 
Clare Short: It is too early to assess the levels of spending on basic social services since the end of the civil war. What we do know at this stage is that a revised budget for the second half of 2002 (approved by the National Assembly) has increased commitments tospending on social services. In addition, the United Nations, in partnership with the Angolan Government,
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have recently completed an assessment of public financing of social sectors in Angola. The objective of the study was to make practical recommendations regarding the distribution of resources and budget management mechanisms. We will encourage the Angolan Government to take these forward and ensure effective social service delivery.
John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what progress has been made towards the reintegration of Angolan refugees returning to their country of origin from neighbouring countries. 
Clare Short: UNHCR estimates that there are around 440,000 Angolan refugees in Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Namibia. UNHCR are co-ordinating the return and resettlement of these refugees. However plans are at an early stage, and although some refugees have chosen to return to Angola under their own steam, UNHCR do not expect to begin their return programme until 2003. The reintegration of refugees will take place against the backdrop of the widescale return of internally displaced people (IDPs) and former fighters anticipated by the Government. In reintegrating all three groups, it will be vital to ensure that adequate services reach the resettlement areas. We expect the Government of Angola to take the lead in this, and are pressing them to ensure that all resettlement is carried out in line with the Norms for Return and Re-settlement which are now part of Angolan law, and are based on the guiding principles drawn up by Francis Deng, the UN Special Rapporteur.
John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what evidence has been collated by the Government relating to whether the Norms for the Resettlement of Displaced Populations in Angola are being effectively followed; and if she will make a statement. 
Clare Short: We very much welcome the incorporation into Angolan law of the Norms for the Resettlement of Displaced Populations. However we remain concerned by allegations that a significant proportion of recent resettlements have not been carried out in line with these Norms. We will continue to press both the Government and the international community to help ensure these Norms are applied in future resettlement programmes.
Clare Short: My Department's Conflict and Humanitarian Affairs Department (CHAD) carried out an assessment mission to Angola in July to determine the extent of the humanitarian crisis there. They found that according to mine-clearance agencies, the number of mines in Angola is now considerably lower than the previously estimated 13 million. Earlier this month, the national co-ordinator of Angola's Inter-sectoral Commission for Demining and Humanitarian Assistance (CNIDAH) estimated that Angola has about 45 million unexploded landmines.
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John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assistance her Department has provided to (a) the Government of Angola and (b) NGOs for the clearance of landmines in Angola. 
Clare Short: My Department has allocated US$ 459,000 to UNDP for a project aimed at improving the effectiveness of mine action through strengthened coordination and planning at the provincial level. This project is included in the revised 2002 UN Consolidated Appeal (CAP) for Angola. We will also be contributing 19.7 per cent. of the 6 million euro which the EC has recently made available for mine action in Angola. This includes 5 million euro for a variety of mine-clearance agencies. We have provided no direct assistance to the Government of Angola for the clearance of land mines.
Clare Short: Angola is a very fertile country, and its agricultural potential is significant. Many of the internally displaced people (IDPs) and ex-combatants around the country have begun to plant, using seeds and tools provided by the international community. If this agricultural development is to be a success, Angolans will need timely provision of seeds and tools, and access to food and shelter (as well as a civil administration, schools and medical services and a functioning local judicial system) during the growing period. They will then need access to markets to exchange their surplus agricultural products for goods and services which they cannot themselves provide. A holistic approach is therefore essential.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent discussions her Department has had with colleagues in (a) the UNHCR and (b) other parts of the United Nations about the humanitarian situation in Angola. 
Clare Short: The British embassy in Luanda and officials in DFID maintain regular contact with the UN Humanitarian Co-ordinator, who in turn co-ordinates the work of the UN agencies and NGO humanitarian agencies. UNHCR are preparing to implement a programme of return for Angolan refugees in 2003. Meanwhile, the focus of the humanitarian community is on the immediate needs of the internally displaced people (IDPs) and the former UNITA fighters in quartering areas.
Clare Short: My Department's strategy for humanitarian relief is to fund a small number of significant interventions by well-established international agencies as part of multi-donor efforts to help address the greatest needs. For example, this year we have contributed #1.7 million to the United Nations and some #2 million to the International Committee for the Red Cross and Medecins Sans Frontieres.
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Clare Short: My Department's Conflict and Humanitarian Affairs Department (CHAD) carried out an assessment mission to Angola in July to determine the extent of the humanitarian crisis there. They found that according to mine-clearing agencies, the number of mines in Angola is now considerably lower than the previously estimated 13 million. Nevertheless the presence of mines remains one of the biggest restrictions to humanitarian aid delivery and is a serious security threat. The mines are widely dispersed and the exact location of the minefields is not properly mapped or recorded. Roads and bridges are heavily mined and are a major priority for the clearance agencies, followed by residential areas targeted for returnee communities, and their agricultural land.
Clare Short: My Department is fully aware of the threat posed by landmines to the delivery of humanitarian assistance and to personal security. In July my Department's Conflict and Humanitarian Affairs Department (CHAD) carried out an assessment mission to Angola to determine the extent of the humanitarian crisis there. With respect to demining, they concluded that we should focus our attention on strengthening the role of the UN in co-ordinating mine clearance activities and in mapping unexploded mines. To this end, we have recently allocated US$ 459,000 to UNDP for a project aimed at improving the effectiveness of mine action through strengthened coordination and planning at the provincial level.
Clare Short: Unaccounted funds are related to the lack of transparency in oil sector flows and weak public finance management. During the past five years, extra-budgetary expenditures have averaged 11 per cent. of GDP per year, and residual unexplained discrepancies in the fiscal accounts have averaged 12 per cent. of GDP per year (approximately $1 billion). Budget execution data have yielded a large share of expenditures as unclassified; substantial funds received as signature bonuses for oil contracts and oil royalties have been outside the control of the Treasury; oil companies have given money to funds and foundations with little independent oversight; and non-transparent external debt transactions have been made. My Department is working with others to address these issues in a number of ways.
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Clare Short: UK development funds for Angola are paid through international agencies such as the UN and the World bank. They are therefore open to the audit processes of those agencies, of DFID's Internal Audit Department and of the UK National Audit Office (NAO).
Clare Short: My Department does not support any specific anti-corruption measures in Angola. However we are working closely with the international community to make clear to the Government of Angola that good governance and transparency are preconditions to international assistance, foreign investment, growth and poverty reduction. We are also encouraging the Angolan Government to resume its dialogue with the IMF and establish a strong and transparent macroeconomic framework.
Clare Short: As a relatively small donor in Angola, my Department's strategy is based around a series of focused interventions in sectors where we feel we can best add value. These interventions include support to the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) process, provision of basic services in peri-urban shanty towns, and support to the interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (I-PRSP). We do not at present plan to support activities in the agricultural sector. However a number of other donors, including the USA and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), have been carrying out seeds and tools programmes designed to help displaced people resettle on agricultural land.
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Clare Short: The humanitarian situation in Angola is very serious. Prior to April 2002, more than 80 per cent. of the country was inaccessible. Since the cease-fire, already over-stretched aid agencies have been able to reach many thousands more severely malnourished people. The UN Under Secretary for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Co-ordination, Kenzo Oshima, estimated that a quarter of the population3 million peoplewould require assistance in the next few months. WFP has raised its caseload figure of people requiring assistance to 1.9 million and this is expected to rise further following a DFID funded comprehensive needs assessment.
The UK has been working hard to ensure that donors and implementing partners develop a consensus view on future needs. The Government remain in close contact with international partners, and will remain at the forefront of diplomatic and political efforts to ensure that humanitarian assistance can be delivered more effectively.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent discussions her Department has had with the World Food Programme on their recommendations for the establishment of a reception and transit centre for refugees returning to Angola. 
Clare Short: UNHCR are co-ordinating the return and resettlement of refugees to Angola, and WFP will form part of the international community's response. However plans are at an early stage, and although some refugees have chosen to return to Angola under their own steam, UNHCR do not expect to begin their return programme until 2003. UNHCR have been keeping donors up to speed with their plans, but my Department had no specific discussions with them at this stage. Our focus to date has been on the urgent needs of internally displaced people (IDPs) and the former UNITA fighters, many of whom have begun to be resettled by the Government. We are in very close touch with WFP, and other agencies, on this and have recently given #250,000 to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) for a project to assist the return and reintegration of IDPs in the Kuanza Sul and Huambo Provinces.
Clare Short: Over the last 12 months, my Department has contributed #1.7 million to the United Nations appeal for Angola to ensure that critical humanitarian needs are met and to assist in the reception areas for ex UNITA fighters. We have also committed some #2 million to the International Committee for the Red Cross and Medecins Sans Frontieres, who are at the forefront of the humanitarian response.
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#750,000 to assist with World Food Programme logistic, #300,000 for the United Nations Development Programme for demining and #250,000 to assist the International Organisation for Migration with the resettlement of internally displaced people.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what UN agencies which her Department supports are working in Angola; and what financial commitment her Department has made to these programmes. 
Clare Short: My Department is working closely with the Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Angola, which in turn co-ordinates the work of the UN agencies and NGO humanitarian agencies.
So far this year, my Department has contributed #1.7 million to the Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Angola, to ensure that critical humanitarian needs are met and to assist with the reception areas for ex-UNITA fighters.
My department's response to the latest UN appeal will be significant. Approved contributions so far include #750,000 to assist with World Food Programme logistics, #300,000 for the United Nations Development Programmes for demining and #250,000 to assist the International Organisation with the resettlement of displaced people.
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